Anne grabbed his arm. "You have to be safe, too." It was sinking in that the men were about to head out to battle; they could be killed.
Kendrick looked down at her, and she was confused by the frustration in his eyes. Suddenly, he leaned down and kissed her forehead. He kept his lips to her skin and whispered. "I'll be back. You and I have unfinished business."
When he pulled away, she felt as if he'd pulled a piece of her heart out of her chest with him.
"Be careful!" She called after him. He nodded and ran to catch up with the men who were already filing out the door.
Rheia walked up and wrapped her arm around Anne's shoulder. "It doesn't get any easier no matter how many times I do this. It helps to stay busy."
Anne nodded. "Point me where you need me doctor."
Rheia smiled. "That's what I wanted to hear."
Anne quickly began to notice that they were receiving more injured than just she and Rheia could handle on their own. When two more shifters showed up with bullet wounds, Anne made the decision to send all critical patients to the clinic.
She ran up to one of the warriors carrying a stretcher. "No. Get him in a vehicle and send him to the clinic."
The man frowned. "But Dr. Bradley said that we were to bring all the patients here."
Anne put her hands on her hips. "That was before we realized how many injured were on the way. This man needs surgery; that cannot happen on the front lawn."
Rheia raced up to them. "She's absolutely right."
Anne looked around the lawn. "Noah!"
The blond turned to them and quickly jogged over. "What do you need?"
"Follow behind me. Get a pen and paper, and tag each patient for transfer that I point to." She turned to Rheia. "You need to call the clinic doctor and tell him to stay there and expect incoming."
Rheia nodded and pulled out her phone. She was giving orders when a new batch arrived in an SUV. She cut the call short as they both ran over. The new arrivals were two children who had a death grip on Sascha. He handled them very gently, one perched on each hip. When he saw Rheia and Anne approaching, he practically sagged in relief. "Thank the Gods! Can you look these two over? I don't think anything is wrong, but they are so little," he fretted, looking with worried glances between the two.
When Rheia reached for the little boy, he turned and buried his face in Sascha's chest. Sascha looked up at Rheia, a frantic look on his face.
"Doc! We need you over here!" another warrior yelled. He was straddling a man's body on a stretcher holding blood-soaked bandages. Rheia immediately ran over to assist.
Anne looked at Sascha. "They seem to be okay. I don't see any broken bones or open wounds. Keep them calm and warm." She turned and ran back over to where the wounded where being laid out in rows.
"How do I do that?" Sascha yelled.
"Blankets and hot chocolate!" she shouted.
Noah caught up to her, and they quickly worked their way through the wounded. Out of the one hundred hostages over thirty of them had been hurt. When they were done prioritizing the care of the seriously wounded, Anne and Noah looked for Rheia.
Rheia's face looked pinched as she worked on a patient too critical for transport. She looked panicked when she called out for items she needed only to realize there was no one to assist. Anne ran forward. "I'm here, keep going."
"Noah! I need you and four warriors to grab blankets, tarps, whatever you can and create a makeshift operating room. We need as much coverage as possible!" Anne yelled.
Noah took off like a bullet. Anne turned her attention back to Rheia and calmly handed her the instruments she needed to remove the deeply lodged bullet. She hardly noticed when the wind stopped blowing her hair in her eyes due to Noah's superb efforts to keep them protected.
Anne ran through the list of steps in her mind and was determined to stay two steps ahead of Rheia, anticipating her every need. She was never so grateful for her mentor's suggestion to volunteer as an ER nurse. In the ER, one needed to know a little bit of everything. It had been equal parts exhilarating and frustrating. She had been determined to learn as much as possible, and it was paying off.
An hour later, the man was stable and most of the patients were wrapped in blankets and ready to be sent to the city.
She was washing her hands for what seemed like the thousandth time that night when Rheia walked over. "You have to be one of the best nurses I have ever seen. Are you sure you aren't psychic?"
Anne smiled and shook her head. "No. I just hated it in nursing school when a patient suffered because I didn't know something. So I studied everything."
"You are exactly what we need here in Lycaonia. I don't think I could have handled this on my own. You and Noah were invaluable at getting the patients lined up with the correct care. You thought clearly and adapted well. Good job." Rheia nodded at her in admiration, and Anne's breath caught.
"Thank you, Dr. Bradley."
"You're very welcome, nurse." Rheia stretched and rubbed her back. "How do you think Sascha faired with the kids?"
Anne grinned and nodded her head to the edge of the treatment area. Sascha had spread blankets on the ground and sat leaning against his SUV. Both children were sound asleep with their heads in his lap.
Rheia shook her head. "Big softies, every single one of them."
Anne couldn't help but agree. "We wouldn't want them any other way."
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